5 Tips for Using Social Media at Your Dallas Health Care Practice

By Sarah Asp Olson

The Internet of Things

The Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex — home to more than 200 hospitals and surgery centers, and hundreds more independent practices — is a growing hub for health care

How can your practice stand out in such a crowded field?

Social media — in combination with a comprehensive digital marketing strategy — has become an indispensable tool for health care practices to promote their practices. But it’s more than just advertising. By its very nature, social media is a gathering place that allows health care professionals to connect with current and prospective patients and provide them with valuable health information. 

When done well, a robust social media strategy can go a long way toward building loyalty among your valued patients and growing your practice. In this post, we’ll cover five tips for nailing your approach to social media:

  • Identify the right platforms.
  • Develop a content strategy.
  • Humanize your practice.
  • Leverage patient reviews and testimonials.
  • Use paid social to reach a wider audience.

1. Identify the Right Platforms

About 72% of Americans use some type of social media, with the average person splitting time among seven social media platforms

Texans are above average when it comes to social connections. In a recent survey, the Lone Star State earned the title of fourth most connected state on social media across six major platforms.  

Your patients are already spending time online, so it makes sense to join them. But before jumping in, research who your patients are and where they hang out online.

Major Social Media Platforms and Who Uses Them

Choosing the Best Platform for You

Once you’ve learned a bit about each social media platform, analyze your target audience and their preferences. Knowing the age range, interests and needs of your patients will help you pick the platforms most likely to resonate with them. 

Next, think about your goals for marketing your health care practice. Are you looking to build brand awareness, educate your audience or share patient success stories? Choose only the platforms that align best with your objectives. 

Once you’ve made a list, join those sites, if you’re not already on them, so you can get familiar with each site’s personality and the kinds of content that work well. 

Keep in mind, the best social media platforms for you are the ones you can reasonably keep up with and engage in. An inactive social media count can be worse than no account at all.  

2. Develop a Content Strategy

Jumping into social media marketing without a plan is a recipe for a week’s worth of posts and then crickets. Start by brainstorming different types of content to share. Some examples include: 

  • Educational articles related to your specialty.
  • Personal stories from your team.
  • Patient stories and testimonials.
  • Promotional content related to your practice.

Organize all your ideas into a content calendar and start mapping out a posting schedule. Aim for a balance of consumer-focused (like education and stories) and promotional content. 

How to Decide What to Post

Look at your list of ideas and decide which ones:

  • Help your patients the most.
  • Advance business goals.
  • Play to your team’s strengths.
  • Are fun (and right for your brand).

These questions will help you prioritize your ideas. Remember, content should be engaging, shareable and, most importantly, adhere to all patient privacy guidelines, including HIPAA regulations. 

There are no hard-and-fast rules for how often you must post to each platform. Always aim for quality and consistency over quantity. 

3. Humanize Your Health Care Practice

One of the most effective ways to connect with patients online is by humanizing your practice. You desire to connect face-to-face with current and potential patients and show them how much you care. If you hide behind clinical fact-based posts, patients don’t get to see your human side. Here are a few ways to let your personality shine on social media: 

  • Show your face(s). Profile the people who make up your practice, from front office staff to the nurses and doctors who administer care. 
  • Get personal. Share your success stories, day-in-the-life experiences and patient testimonials to give scrollers a behind-the-scenes look into your world. 
  • Engage. Social media is, by its nature, interactive. When people leave comments on your posts or drop a review, it’s important to respond in a timely manner with kindness and respect. This is known as reputation management, and its importance can’t be understated. 

Fast Fact: According to the 2022 Sprout Social Index, 76% of U.S. consumers expect a response to a social media post within 24 hours. 

4. Leverage Patient Reviews and Testimonials

We’ve talked a bit about using reviews and testimonials as part of your social media strategy. Hearing about your practice from actual patients is one of the most powerful promotional tools for building credibility and attracting new patients. 

But how do you get patient stories and use them respectfully, legally and effectively? 

Most important: Always err on the side of patient privacy. That means asking before you post an anecdote or even share a story that a patient has posted on their own social media. Here are a few ways to gather stories: 

  • Ask patients to leave reviews. Follow up with an email that includes a link to your Google My Business, Yelp or HealthGrades page and request feedback. Be aware this also means you could get negative feedback. Make sure your reputation management strategy extends to these sites as well. You may also consider creating a testimonial submission form on your website to collect patient stories. 
  • Shoot video testimonials. Select a few patients who know your practice well and ask them to tape a video testimonial to be shared on social media. Coordinate with your marketing team to capture professional footage and edit it together in a social-friendly format. 
  • Feature patient stories off social. Highlight longer, more in-depth patient stories on your blog and promote them using social media. You can also ask your followers to share. 

5. Use Paid Social to Extend Your Reach

Social media advertising through Facebook Ads and boosted posts can help you reach a larger audience in the Dallas area. By targeting ads by demographic and incorporating keywords relevant to your practice, you can effectively promote your health care practice to groups who may not have found you organically. 

To create successful ad campaigns, focus on developing compelling ad copy and visuals that clearly communicate the benefits of choosing your practice. With permission, use some of your best patient testimonials or stories to pique interest and give your practice a human face. 

This Is Just the Beginning

These tips are a great place to start. For a more comprehensive look at using social media to promote your Dallas medical practice, check out our e-book Using Social Media in Health Care (All Legal — and Not Scary!), which delves deeper into issues around privacy and safety for health care professionals using social media. 

Nearly 90% of all adults in the U.S. use at least one social network, and one in ten Americans turn to social media for health information. By building a social media presence for your practice, you not only expand your reach but also foster stronger connections with patients and position yourself as a valuable source of health information and expertise.

Social Media Calendar Template

Sarah Asp Olson

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